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2016 election takes toll on civility, productivity at work

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This year’s extraordinary presidential campaign is taking a toll on American workers, some of whom report feeling stressed, argumentative and less productive because of political discussions on the job, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association.

More than 1 in 4 younger employees reported feeling stressed out because of political discussions at work, and more than twice as many men as women said political talk is making them less productive.

Men were more likely than women, and younger workers (ages 18-34) were more likely than older generations, to have experienced negative consequences of political discussions at work this election season, the survey found.

This includes having difficulty getting work done, producing lower-quality work and being less productive overall. Similarly, these groups were more likely to have said that because of political discussions at work, they feel more isolated from their colleagues, have a more negative view of them and have experienced an increase in workplace hostility. Compared to women, men were more than four times as likely to report having argued about politics with a co-worker (18% vs. 4%).

Among all workers surveyed, 47% said people are more likely to discuss politics in the workplace this election season than in the past.

Percentage of employees reporting ...

Overhearing others discussing politics at work: 56%

Discussing politics at work: 48%

Discussing politics with a co-worker who agrees: 45%

Discussing politics with a co-worker who disagrees: 31%

Overhearing co-workers arguing about politics: 26%

Arguing about politics with a co-worker: 11%

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